H1B Visa Lottery 2024: Key Facts & Updates

H1B Visa Lottery 2024
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Editorial Team - HomeAbroad  by HomeAbroad Editorial Team

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If you have plans of applying to the H1B work visa, it is important that you understand how the H1B visa lottery system works. The H1B visa lottery 2024 process is a crucial factor in determining whether or not you will be granted an H1B visa.

Therefore, it is important to be well-informed and prepared. This article will provide information on the requirements, registration process, timeline, and results of the 2024 H1B visa lottery, which will be helpful in increasing your chances of success in this competitive process.

key highlights h1b visa 2024

Key Highlights H1B Visa Lottery 2024

H1B visa is a popular non-immigrant work visa that allows employers to employ high-skilled professionals. However, because there is a limit on the number of H1B visas issued each year, a lottery system is used to select candidates in a fair and unbiased manner.

This random selection process, called the H-1B visa lottery, provides an equal opportunity to all eligible applicants, regardless of their nationality or the timing of their application. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) supervises a random selection process that guarantees a fair chance for all qualified candidates to obtain an H1B visa.

H-1B visa applications are accepted from April 1st of the current year for the USCIS fiscal year, which runs from October 1st to September 30th. The number of H-1B petitions is limited by an H-1B cap of 85,000. If the number of applications received exceeds this limit, the USCIS randomly selects candidates through a lottery.

Application Timeline H1B visa lottery 2024

How Does the H1B Visa Lottery Work?

The H-1B Visa Lottery randomly selects a limited number of eligible applicants to receive an invitation from the US Department of State. If selected, they can apply for an employment-based nonimmigrant visa, which allows them to legally work and live in the US for three years. After that time, they may have the option to apply for permanent residency.

1. Limited Number of Visas

The H1B visa program has a maximum number of visas available each fiscal year, known as the annual cap. If the number of applications received surpasses the available visa slots, a lottery system is implemented. The current H-1B cap is set at 65,000 for bachelor’s degree holders and a master’s cap of 20,000 for advanced degree holders from US universities.

2. Random Selection Process

After the registration period ends, if there are more petitions than the cap allows, a computer will randomly select the required number of applicants. This process is designed to be fair and give all eligible applicants an equal chance.

In the fiscal year 2024, the USCIS received 780,884 applications, exceeding the available cap. As a result, a lottery was conducted to select the candidates for the H1B work visa.

3. Chances of Being Selected

In order to begin the visa application process, you must first be chosen in the H1B visa lottery, which is subject to change. Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee selection since there are usually more applicants than visas available.

To increase your chances of being chosen, it is crucial to understand the factors that may improve your chances, such as having an advanced degree or being sponsored by a qualifying employer.

4. First Round of Lottery

This is the initial lottery round of the H1B lottery. In this step, employers or their representatives enter the information of potential beneficiaries for the H1B visa. If an employer is selected, they can file complete petitions for their chosen beneficiaries. This round establishes the basis for the next stages of the lottery, bringing applicants closer to the possibility of approval and getting an H1B visa.

5. Second Round H1B Lottery

If there are any visa slots available after the initial lottery, USCIS may hold a second round exclusively for individuals with advanced degrees from American institutions. This second round will select the remaining eligible participants in a random manner.

Employers can also register more beneficiaries for advanced degree exemptions to fill the remaining slots. Those selected in the second round will receive a notification and can file complete H1B petitions for their beneficiaries.

Note: The same beneficiary selected in the first round of the lottery will not be considered in the second round. However, those who are not selected in the first round can still have a chance to be selected in the second round, provided they qualify for the advanced degree exemption.

6. Petition Processing

After an applicant’s petition is chosen in the lottery, they must submit the full visa application, which includes:

  • Providing additional documents
  • Attending interviews
  • Meeting specific requirements outlined by the USCIS

5. Impact on Employment Opportunities

The H1B visa lottery has a big impact on job prospects for foreign workers. Winning the lottery allows you to work in the US, gain experience, and contribute to the American workforce. However, losing the lottery can be disappointing, but you can consider other visa options.

How to Apply for the H1B Visa Lottery 2024?

The USCIS fiscal year for H-1B visas runs from October 1st to September 30th. To apply for the following fiscal year, which starts six months later, applications are accepted from April 1st of the current year. The preparation process for the H-1B visa lottery is as follows:

1. Establish a USCIS Online Account

Employers who want to enter the H1B visa lottery must register on the USCIS registration site by creating an online account. This USCIS account enables them to submit entries for each supported beneficiary. It’s crucial to create the account before the deadline, which is usually in February.

2. Registration Process and Fee Payment

Employers need to submit the required basic information and pay a $10 processing fee per registration once the registration period opens. This usually happens on March 1st. All necessary details and fees must reach the registration site before the specified deadline, typically in mid-March.

3. Random Selection

After the registration period closes, USCIS conducts a random selection process using a computer-generated lottery system. This is done to select a sufficient number of beneficiaries from the pool of registered applicants. The number of available H1B visas is capped each fiscal year, with a limited quota for regular H-1B visas and an additional quota for advanced degree holders.

4. Selection Notification

Employers whose beneficiaries are selected in the lottery will receive a notification from USCIS. This notification will include further instructions on how to proceed with filing the complete H1B petition.

5. Filing the H1B Petition

Once selected, the employer must prepare and submit a comprehensive H1B petition on behalf of the beneficiary. The petition includes extensive documentation, such as the beneficiary’s qualifications, job offer details, and evidence of the employer’s ability to pay the prevailing wage. Ensuring that the petition is accurately prepared and meets all the required criteria is crucial.

6. USCIS Processing

USCIS reviews the H1B petitions received and makes decisions on each case. They evaluate the eligibility of the beneficiary, the validity of the job offer, and compliance with H1B program requirements. If additional information or documentation is needed, USCIS may issue the employer a Request for Evidence (RFE).

7. Notification of Decision

Once USCIS has completed the review, they will notify the employer of the decision on the H1B petition. Where the approved petitions will receive an H-1B visa approval notice, the denied petitions will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. Also, keep in mind that selected registrations may be denied if there are discrepancies or issues found in the application.

Please be aware that the H-1B visa lottery is a competitive process, and not all registrations will be selected. If you are an employer or beneficiary, make sure to carefully prepare your application and provide strong supporting evidence that meets all eligibility requirements.

H1B Visa Lottery Processing Time 2024

Once the registration period closes, USCIS will start selecting H-1B lottery beneficiaries. However, the duration of the lottery process may differ each year.

  • Regular Processing Time – Between one and six months (may vary depending on the service center’s location)
  • Premium Processing Time – Within 15 days of petition submission (can be achieved by submitting Form I-907 and paying an additional (refundable) processing fee of $1,225)
  • Expedited Processing Time – For top priority and urgent cases such as:
    • Slow processing causes significant financial damage to a US business.
    • Petitions from US nonprofit organizations that impact social and cultural values
    • Emergency situations
    • USCIS’s inherent interest in the petition
    • Causes and motives of humanity
    • H1B visa petitions filed by the US government with broad national implications.

H1B Registrations Filing Trend FY 2021- FY 2024

There have been changes in H-1B visa registration trends since previous years. The H1B Visa Registration System has made it easier for employers to submit registrations for potential employees, leading to a significant increase in the number of filings. If the number of H-1B applications exceeds the annual quota cap (85,000), USCIS conducts a lottery.

1. Only 14.6% of eligible registrations for FY 2024

In FY 2024, USCIS received 780,884 H-1B registrations, which is a 61% increase compared to the 483,927 registrations received in FY 2023. As per the National Foundation for American Policy, for FY 2024, USCIS only selected 14.6% of eligible H-1B registrations.

The percentage of applicants selected for FY 2024 is lower than the selection rates for FY 2023 (26.9%), FY 2022 (43.8%), and FY 2021 (46.1%).

Percentage of Eligible H1B registrations selected in lottery

Source: Forbes.com

2. 66% more registrations with only one employer

The number of H-1B registrations with a single employer increased by 66% from FY 2022 to FY 2024, highlighting the strong demand for skilled technical professionals in the U.S. economy.

Increase in eligible h1b registrations with only one employer

Source: Forbes.com

3. Registrant Accounts for International Students

Stephanie Pimentel from Berry Appleman and Leiden stated that employers have also submitted registrations for international students who are on Optional Practical Training but were not selected for H-1B status in the past lottery. Additionally, employees with L-1 status with expiring eligibility are being considered as another source of H-1B registrations.

4. USCIS shows serious concerns regarding multiple entries

USCIS reported an increase in registrations for FY 2024 as some individuals submitted multiple eligible registrations. Attorneys clarify that it is lawful and common to have multiple job offers in a competitive labor market, and you can submit multiple registrations. However, depending on the circumstance, it could potentially breach rules or laws and provide an unfair advantage.

The below table shows registration and selection numbers for fiscal years 2021-2024.

registration and selection numbers for fiscal years 2021-2024

Source: uscis.gov

Note: The count for eligible registrations doesn’t include duplicate registrations, those deleted by the prospective employer prior to the close of the registration period, and those with failed payments.

5. USCIS Takes Measures to Combat Fraud in the Registration Process

If you try to submit multiple registrations for the same person to increase your chances of being selected, USCIS may reject your H1B lottery registration if the details you provide are inaccurate. If someone provides an untrue attestation when registering with USCIS, their petition may be rejected or withdrawn.

USCIS may also refer individuals or organizations who submit false attestations to federal law enforcement agencies for further investigation. They have undertaken extensive fraud investigations and are developing a new regulation to update the H1B registration process. Moreover, they have introduced an online form to report any suspected cases of fraud regarding immigration benefits.

Note: USCIS has investigated prospective petitioners during the FY 2023 and FY 2024 H-1B cap seasons and denied and revoked petitions. They are also in the process of referring some of these cases for criminal prosecution.

How to Check H1B Visa Lottery Result, 2024?

Once the lottery is finished, USCIS will notify the employers whose beneficiaries were selected. So, it is essential to stay connected with your employer throughout the process. They will receive updates on the lottery outcome and provide you with the necessary information. Once you receive the notification, you can log in to the online H1B Registration system as either the employer or attorney to check the status.

If you have filed your H1B petition as an individual, you can check your case status on the USCIS online portal by using the receipt number provided by USCIS. You just need to enter it on the “Check Case Status” page. Once you open the status page, your USCIS online account will show one of the following statuses:

  1. Submitted: Your registration has been successfully submitted and is eligible for selection. In case, it wasn’t selected in the initial process, it will continue to be considered for selection in any future selections for this fiscal year as long as it remains valid.
  2. Selected: You can file an H-1B cap petition
  3. Not Selected: You are not eligible to file an H-1B cap petition
  4. Denied: The same person or group submitted more than one registration for the same person who is supposed to receive some benefit. If this is proven, then all registrations submitted for that same person for the entire year will be invalid.
  5. Invalidated-Failed Payment: Though the registration was submitted, the payment method has been declared invalid. It could have been declined, not reconciled or disputed.

What to do after I Receive My H1B Visa Lottery 2024 Results?

Once the H1B visa lottery results are announced, it is important to understand how to navigate the next steps based on the outcome. Here’s a guide on dealing with H1B visa lottery results:

1. USCIS Processing and Notification

It is important to keep track of your H1B petition after you file it and USCIS starts processing it. USCIS will evaluate your petition and come to a decision. During this time, it’s important to promptly respond to any requests for further documentation or information. USCIS will notify you of their decision on the H1B visa, whether it’s approved or denied.

2. Selected in the H1B Lottery

If your registration is picked in the H1B lottery, it means you have earned an H-1B visa slot. Within the provided timeframe, your employer can submit the H1B petition on your behalf. Ensure that you collect all the following documents and information necessary for petition filing:

  • Labor Condition Application
  • Form I-129
  • Beneficiary’s Passport
  • Education Documentation (educational degrees, diplomas, transcripts, and any relevant certifications)
  • Work Experience Documentation (employment letters, reference letters, and pay stubs)
  • Employer Support Documents (company’s tax records, financial statements, business licenses, and evidence of its ability to pay your offered wage)
  • Labor Certification from the DOL

3. Not Selected in the H1B Lottery

If you didn’t get selected in the H1B lottery, there are no H-1B visa slots available for you this year. However, the employer can either reapply for the next year’s lottery or you can look into other employment visa options like

  • L-1 visas (for intracompany transfers)
  • O-1 visas (for individuals with exceptional skills)
  • E visas (for companies involved in international trade)

4. Waitlist or Potential Second Lottery

Sometimes, USCIS may inform applicants that they are on a waitlist or there may be a second-round lottery. If you are in this situation, it is crucial to keep an eye on any updates or announcements from USCIS. You should also stay in contact with your employer or immigration lawyer for further advice.

5. Plan for Alternatives

It’s essential to have a backup plan if your H-1B visa petition is rejected or your visa application is not approved. You can look into other work visa options, continue your education in the US, or search for job opportunities in your home country or elsewhere.

H-1B Visa Lottery 2024 Fees

To effectively pursue employment opportunities in the US through the H-1B visa lottery, it is essential for both applicants and employers to understand the fees involved. Employers will pay USCIS filing fees (which include the base filing fee, ACWIA fee, and Fraud Prevention and Detection fee). Knowing these costs will help with effective planning and budgeting.

H1B visa lottery fees

Source: uscis.gov

Eligibility Criteria for H1B Visa Lottery 2024

To qualify for the H-1B Visa Lottery 2024, you need to meet specific criteria set by the US government. Thus, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent in a specialty occupation
  2. A legitimate job offer
  3. An H-1B petition signed by your employer on your behalf
  4. Proof of English language proficiency
  5. Undergo a criminal background check
  6. Not employed under an H1B visa in any country other than the United States
  7. No previous requests for an increase in visa status while in the US
  8. Available to begin employment in the US by October 1, 2025
  9. Demonstrate non-immigrant intent

Benefits of the H1B Visa Lottery for Foreign Workers

The significance of the H-1B visa lottery lies in the fact that it determines who among the many qualified applicants will have the opportunity to file a petition for an H1B visa.

1. Access to Job Opportunities

The H-1B Visa Lottery allows foreign workers to work in America, known for its strong job market and career possibilities. Winning the lottery means getting a job offer from a U.S. employer and pursuing professional goals in a highly competitive setting.

2. Work Authorization

The H-1B Visa Lottery enables foreign workers to legally work in the United States for a specific job with a certain employer. Though it is temporary, it can be extended for up to six years, giving people a significant amount of time to gain valuable work experience and contribute to the U.S. economy.

3. Higher Earnings Potential

The H-1B Visa is known for offering higher salaries in comparison to other visa types. Those who are chosen in the lottery have the chance to earn competitive wages and improve their financial standing by working for respected U.S. companies that provide appealing compensation plans.

4. Skill Development and Networking

Foreign workers who work in the United States under the H1B Visa program can enhance their skills, expand their professional network, work with industry experts, gain exposure to new technologies and practices, and collaborate with diverse teams. This experience can immensely contribute to their career growth and future opportunities.

5. Pathway to Permanent Residency

The H1B Visa Lottery is a way for foreign workers to potentially obtain permanent residency in the United States. By being sponsored by their employer, individuals can move from temporary work status to obtaining a Green Card, which grants permanent residency and access to many benefits and opportunities in the country.

Learn More: Should You Rent or Buy A House in the US on an H1B Visa?

The benefits of the H1B Visa Lottery for foreign workers in the US are significant. However, it is subject to different policies and regulations. To fully understand the benefits and implications of the H-1B Visa Lottery for your unique circumstances, it is advisable to consult with immigration lawyers or an authorized immigration service provider.


Though the number of registrations for the H-1B visa lottery for FY 2024 has set a new record, the USCIS has noticed that some individuals submitted multiple entries. Reforms are being considered to make the lottery process for H-1B visas fairer and increase the chances of foreign workers being selected.

Moreover, there are alternative visa options to work in the US, that can offer you more career opportunities. In conclusion, since the H-1B lottery process is an important part of the H-1B visa, HomeAbroad can help you connect with the right professionals and facilitate the immigration process.


  1. What is the processing time for H1B Visa Lottery 2024?

    The actual processing time for the visa can differ depending on factors like USCIS workload, service center location, and the processing type chosen (regular, premium, or expedited). However, it can take several weeks to a few months for regular processing, while premium processing guarantees a 15-day processing time.

  2. Will there be a second-round lottery for FY 2024?

    It is currently uncertain if there will be a second or third round for FY 2024 H1B lottery, but there is a chance that it may happen. Those who were not chosen in the first lottery should still keep hope, as USCIS might decide to hold another lottery to distribute more visas.

  3. What are the chances of getting the H-1B lottery in 2024?

    Your chance of getting selected in the H-1B visa lottery depends on various factors, like the number of registrations received and the annual visa quota. Since the lottery randomly chooses the applicants, the probability of getting selected can vary every year depending on the number of registrations and the overall demand for H-1B visas.

  4. Are the H-1B lottery results out for FY 2024?

    Yes, the lottery results for the fiscal year 2024 are out. On March 27, 2023, USCIS announced that it had received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to meet the FY 2024 H-1B cap, which also includes the master’s cap.

  5. How many H-1B applications were selected for FY 2024?

    In 2023, USCIS received 780,884 H-1B registrations, from which a total of 110,791 applications were selected. Thus, the percentage of applicants selected for FY 2024 was 14.6%, far lower than the selection rates for previous years.

  6. When to apply for the H-1B visa lottery in 2024?

    To apply for H-1B visas in the upcoming fiscal year, watch for official USCIS announcements about filing dates and deadlines. Typically, the filing period starts in April. It’s recommended to seek advice from an immigration lawyer or follow USCIS guidelines to determine the precise timeline for FY 2025.

  7. How long does it take to receive the results of the H-1B visa lottery 2024?

    After the H-1B visa registration period ends, the USCIS usually informs applicants of the lottery results within a few weeks. The announcement usually arrives in April or May, but this may vary from year to year. To keep updated on the lottery results, you can visit the USCIS website or log in to your registered account.

  8. What happens if I am selected in the H-1B visa lottery in 2024?

    Being chosen in the H-1B visa lottery means that your petition has been selected for further processing. If you are selected, both you and your employer will be notified, and you will be able to move forward with the H-1B visa application process. However, you must submit all necessary documentation and meet the eligibility requirements to obtain the visa.

  9. Can I appeal if I am not selected for the H-1B visa lottery in 2024?

    If your name is not selected in the H-1B visa lottery, there is no official method for appealing the decision. However, you can explore other immigration options or types of work visas that may be a better fit for your situation. HomeAbroad can help you with various visa programs to determine the most suitable way to work in the US.

  10. Are there any alternatives to the H-1B visa for working in the US?

    If you didn’t make it into the H-1B visa lottery or meet the eligibility criteria, don’t worry! There are other types of work visas available. You can consider the L-1 visa for intra-company transfers, the O-1 visa for people with extraordinary abilities, the E-2 visa for investors, the TN visa for professionals from Canada and Mexico, or the J-1 visa for exchange visitors, among others.

  11. What are the chances of being selected in the H1B visa lottery in 2024?

    The chances of getting chosen in the H1B visa lottery depend on the number of petitions received versus the available visas. However, you can face tough competition if the prospective petitioners surpass the government-set limit.
    Nonetheless, submitting a complete and eligible petition before the deadline can enhance your chances. Working with experienced immigration services and staying updated on recent USCIS policies can also increase your likelihood of being selected.

  12. When will the H1B visa lottery 2024 take place?

    The H1B visa lottery is usually held after the registration period for H1B has ended. The schedule for the lottery may differ each year, depending on the USCIS’s processing timelines. Nonetheless, traditionally, the lottery is scheduled in late March or early April.

Editorial Team - HomeAbroad
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